Clemson knocked off a defending national champion for the third time in as many tries in a 38-24 victory over No. 21-ranked Auburn to earn the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Week.
Clemson rallied from a 21-7 second-quarter deficit to top Auburn, which snapped the defending BCS champion’s 17-game winning streak. In 1991, Clemson beat then-defending national champion Georgia Tech and 10 years earlier the Tigers topped Georgia.
The last two games between Clemson and Auburn had been decided on the game’s final play. There was no last-second drama this time, as Clemson sophomore quarterback Tajh Boyd threw four touchdown passes to lead the Tigers to its first victory over Auburn in 14 games dating back to 1951.
Auburn did pull within 28-24 with five minutes left in the third quarter, but Boyd then led Clemson on a 12-play, 80-yard drive, capping it with a 19-yard TD pass with 16 seconds left in the period. Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 38-yard field goal with 11:48 remaining in the game, and then Clemson’s defense came up with an interception at its own five-yard line to thwart an Auburn scoring drive.
A national panel of experts picks the Academy’s College Football Game of the Week. Each week’s winner is then considered for the College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season.
Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy donates the painting to the winning university, along with $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.